Thursday, November 29, 2012

It was a Beautiful Thanksgiving

In my Halloween post, I told you that I would be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year. So, as soon as Halloween was over, I was planning table settings and hunting down the perfect tablecloths (I love doing this kind of stuff).

We re purposed our pumpkins....

Pressed some leaves...

between to pieces of wax paper, cut out and hang from tree branch

 Lily put together all the turkey card holders for the kids table - she loves doing this sort of thing.

Liam also tried to help with one.

And in true Karczewski form, 5 days before Thanksgiving I told Chris that we HAD to paint the living room (on our long list of things to get done with the house). So he taped the whole living room and then there was really no going back. It was kind of a terra cotta pot color before, and I thought it made the whole living room sort of dark and the fireplace kind of blended in.

I think it is much brighter now and everything on the fireplace pops.

So, once that was done, I was all about creating an inviting home to entertain guests in (only 9 adults and 4 small children for my first Thanksgiving).

The kids Thanksgiving Table, topped with kraft paper for them to color, mini cornucopias (found the idea on pinterest - here are the directions on how to get your sugar cones to bend) and the turkey table place holders that Lily put together (she made a different pattern on each of their feathers). Plates, silverware, pumpkin for the center and feather headbands were all found in the dollar spot at Target. ***Warning: I took way too many pictures of my tables - you've been warned***


For the adult tables I just bought table cloths and used these awesome candle holders that my friend Jenny got us for a housewarming present. Scattered some fake leaves under them and some real pine cones.


But, what set the tables off perfectly was the China I have from my Great Aunt, and this was the first time I ever was able to use it.

In the background Christmas carols blared as I peeled potatoes and made notes on what dish should go in and what time, I was seriously loving this. I had dreamed about finally having a house large enough to host holidays in.

And to get me through the day, I had my essentials...

The Elf socks are what really gave me a turbo-boost

And this cuteness to look forward to...

This little helper swiper couldn't keep his hands off the M&M's.

What a stinker.

I had this simmering on the stove to make the house smelt fabulous (cranberries, cut oranges, cinnamon sticks and water, simmer)


Way too many pictures of tables...


I found this recipe for apple cider sangria, it was a hit.

More of my China...I love saying that "my China"...I have China, and take lots of pictures of it.

Billie made all the appetizers....

...and let me tell you this brie was amazing.

Time to try to get some pictures of the kids...., not happening....

Since it was so nice out, we let them run around outside for a while, hoping that their moods would change and we would get the group shot we dreamed of (we always dream of a group shot, it never happens).

They still weren't having it after they came in, but we got some pictures of more smiley kids.



Cornucopias were a hit.

Indians, singing and dancing around...

Finally it was time to eat.

Dennis was ready to carve the turkey...requirements: paper towels, garbage bag, electric knife and a place to hang his nice shirt, he has to do it in a wife-beater for some reason?

Dennis carved the turkey, while Chris whisked the gravy (for 5 seconds while I helped Liam with something)

It's a science...

The spread...everyone said the turkey was good and all the food was great...I pulled it off (and even though the stuffing boiled over and smoked out the house - the fire detectors didn't go off) my first Thanksgiving was a success.

For dessert we had homemade (by Baker's Square) pies and coffee (in china)...

By the end of the night belly's were full...

children were smothering their heads with custard...

and Billie had enough to drink...

It was time for a long winters nap.

Last year I wrote this post about all the things I am thankful for, you should read it, I just re-read it and it still tears me up.

I am still thankful for all those things, this year I felt especially thankful for my family, my husband, my two beautiful children and the house that is becoming our "home". I am thankful that I have a life I always dreamed of and am surrounded by people that love me and make me laugh. Without all the people that I surround myself with, I am not as good...they make me a better person and I am thankful for that.

It was a beautiful Thanksgiving....

...and after the dishwasher was loaded and we tucked the kids in bed....

you guessed it....

I know I've told you a thousand times....I am crazy...yep, hosting Thanksgiving, cleaning the house and then I was out the door Black Friday shopping on Thursday night.

I also failed to mention that Wednesday before Thanksgiving when I was supposed to be cleaning my house and getting everything ready for Thanksgiving, I decided to Clark Griswold our house while Chris was at work (because who doesn't want to come home to some Christmas lights?!!!).


How can I not be thankful for this life?

Friday morning when I snoozed through my 5:00 a.m. alarm for Black Friday shopping, Chris reached his hand over in bed, hit me, and said "let's do this!"...oh, I love him.


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